The Oldest Newly Discovered Health Food

By: Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA

The Oldest Newly Discovered Health Food

Finally, there’s a food that tastes great, helps you lose weight and packs more health benefits than a field of alfalfa sprouts. It’s called…bulgur. No kidding!
The world has suddenly discovered what Armenians have known since Mrs. Noah cooked her first pot of pilaf on Mount Ararat.
Read any blog, Web site, magazine or news article on healthy eating and you’re almost certain to find the latest story about this “exotic” whole grain wonder.
Check out this article (“Bulgur: Natural Weight-Loss Food.”) from the Web site HowStuffWorks.com about “what’s left after wheat kernels have been steamed, dried, and crushed”
“High in fiber and protein, and low in fat and calories, bulgur is another food that offers bulk and nutrients to fill you up without adding pounds. One thing to keep in mind, a cup of bulgur has fewer calories, less fat, and more than twice the fiber of brown rice.”
That’s not all.
“Bulgur is also a standout in terms of its fiber content, just like whole wheat, and can help keep your digestive tract healthy as a result. The insoluble fiber it contains absorbs water, promoting faster elimination of waste, which prevents the formation of an environment that promotes the development of carcinogens.”
We love bulgur, as you know, and we have our own favorite ways of preparing it. You probably do, too.But just for a change, here’s a recipe from The Harvard University School of Public Health, which we figure might know a thing or two about healthy eating.
Bulgur Pilaf (Serves 4) 1¼ cups low-sodium vegetable broth, heated 1 cup bulgur 1½ tablespoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced ½ cup tomatoes, chopped ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, minced 1 dash crushed red pepper (or to taste) 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons honey 2 teaspoons canola oil Salt (optional) and pepper to taste
Directions
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the garlic until it is tender; do not let it get brown.
Add the bulgur and sauté until it smells toasty, about 10 minutes. Pour in the hot broth, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
Fluff bulgur with a fork. Gently stir in diced and dried tomatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey, canola oil, crushed red pepper, salt (if desired), and pepper.
Pour over bulgur and blend well. Serve warm.
Nutrional info
Calories: 230⁄ Protein: 6 g⁄ Carbohydrate: 36 g⁄ Fiber: 8 g⁄ Sodium: 250 mgSaturated fat: 1 g⁄ Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 g⁄ Monounsaturated fat: 5 gTrans fat: 0 g⁄ Cholesterol: 0 mg

10 Benefits of Carrots: The Crunchy Powerfood

By Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA
10 Benefits of Carrots: The Crunchy Powerfood

Forget about vitamin A pills. With this orange crunchy powerfood, you get vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. Read how to get maximum benefits from this amazing vegetable.

Benefits of Carrots

1. Improved Vision
Western culture’s understanding of carrots being “good for the eyes” is one of the few we got right. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.

Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.

2. Cancer Prevention
Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.

Falcarinol is a natural pesticide produced by the carrot that protects its roots from fungal diseases. Carrots are one of the only common sources of this compound. A study showed 1/3 lower cancer risk by carrot-eating mice.

3. Anti-Aging
The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism. It help slows down the aging of cells.

4. Healthy Glowing Skin (from the inside)
Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

5. A Powerful Antiseptic
Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.

6. Beautiful Skin (from the outside)
Carrots are used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask. Just mix grated carrot with a bit of honey. See the full recipe here: carrot face mask.

7. Prevent Heart Disease
Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.

The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.

8. Cleanse the Body
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.

9. Healthy Teeth and Gums
It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste. Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.

10. Prevent Stroke:
From all the above benefits it is no surprise that in a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.

Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

BY MIHRAN KALAYDJIAN, CHA
Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of Persia. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life.

If you’re not familiar with the pomegranate, it is a red fruit with a tough outer layer; only the juice and the seeds inside are edible. Pomegranate juice is available year round, but you can purchase fresh pomegranates in most grocery stores from September through January. When refrigerated in a plastic bag, pomegranates keep for up to 2 months. Try tossing the seeds on a salad for a brilliantly colorful, crunchy, and nutritious addition.

Seeding a pomegranate may seem like a lot of work for just a piece of fruit but think again. getting at those seeds may be well worth it. The pomegranate is a nutrient dense food source rich in phytochemical compounds. Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.

Amazing Clinical Results
This fantastic little fruit recently made its way back into the news after some spectacular clinical results. Here’s what you need to know:

Compounds found only in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagins are the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. They not only lower cholesterol, but also lower blood pressure and increase the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.

In other studies, potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.2

Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.3 Several in vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect. Additional studies and clinical trials currently taking place are hopeful to reveal this fascinating effect on humans.

Also of note, pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.

Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can’t afford to exclude from your diet!

Healthy Eating Help Guide

Healthy eating does not mean depriving yourself of the foods you love or staying unrealistically thin, but rather about developing a well-balanced, satisfying relationship with food. Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well increase your energy, stabilize your weight, and boost your mood.

By exploring the broad range of articles below, you’ll find help with everything from losing weight, overcoming food cravings, and eating out, to tips on buying and preparing food, managing your food budget, and devising nutrition plans to cope with or reduce the risk of specific diseases. Whatever your age, income, or living situation—whether you’re preparing meals for yourself or for the whole family—you’ll find everything needed to create an enjoyable, healthy diet that works for you.

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.

Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.

Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.

Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.

Some great choices include:

Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.

Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.